Billy Embody: Bryce WildsWhile Bryce Wilds (pictured above) is 6-7, 305 and flipped from Houston to SMU, there’s a reason he’s only a two-star. He’s only played football two years and although I trust Dustin Fry to get him into a starter for SMU, everyone celebrating Wilds like he’s the second coming of Kelvin Beachum, settle down. Wilds will take some time to get the pass blocking down, but he’s athletic enough to play in Morris’ offense. It’s just going to take time in my mind.
Scott Sanford: Austin CorbettWith this class, I didn’t see anyone that was vastly overrated because players who had three-stars deserved those and players who had two-stars deserved those. The one three-star signee that I thought was somewhat of a stretch was Austin Corbett. It isn’t that Corbett is bad, he’s really just a spitting image of two-star linebacker Mitchell Kaufman. The two have some athleticism, but both lack ideal weight and speed.
Demetrio Teniente: Keaton Bates
Josh Williams, man. Can anyone actually confirm he can kick a football. All joking aside, this is a tough one for me. I genuinely feel that the entire class is a bit underrated. If I had to choose though, I’d say Keaton Bates, just because I’ve only ever seen him light up smaller guys on run blocks. Then again he is a two star…which makes me feel bad.
Andrew Hattersley: Marcus McNeil
This is a question mark for me, and as a two-star prospect I’m not sure he’s got the athleticism quite yet to contribute right away. He was one of the holdovers from Junes Jones staff and will need to improve over the coming years in terms of his quickness and speed. He is a guy that will want to improve his mobility both in pass protection and in the run game. He's an incredible student though and a great kid, which is a plus.
Patrick Engel: Keaton Bates
This is a tough one for me, as every signee has something to offer that I like. But I’m picking offensive lineman Keaton Bates. First, I should note that I think Bates will be a good player and an even better leader at SMU. He struck me as mature beyond his years and as a humble, gracious player. But, I think he’ll need some refining and a lot of reps before becoming a starter at SMU. At 270 pounds, I’d like to see him add more weight, and I think his weight will limit him at first. I think he also needs to practice going up against bigger lineman; a lot of the defenders he dominated in high school were small for defensive linemen. I think Bates’ technique is solid, but he needs to add weight and show he can beat the bigger guys. Thanks to his impressive work ethic and maturity, I think he will.